Word for the Week
Sunday, July 23, 2017 Lectionary 16 Introduction
It is an age-old question: why is there evil in the world? In the parable of the wheat and the weeds Jesus suggests that both grow together until the harvest. With Paul, we long for the day that all creation will be set free from bondage and suffering. Having both weeds and wheat within us, we humbly place our hope in the promises of God, and from the Lord’s table we go forth to bear the fruit of justice and mercy.
Prayer of the Day
Faithful God, most merciful judge, you care for your children with firmness and compassion. By your Spirit nurture us who live in your kingdom, that we may be rooted in the way of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
First Reading: Isaiah 44:6-8
God claims the right to sole rule, because God announces things that actually do happen, while supposed divine opponents remain silent. God is Israel’s redeemer, that is, the best brother or sister they ever had.
Psalm: Psalm 86:11-17
Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth. (Ps. 86:11)
Second Reading: Romans 8:12-25
For Paul, true spirituality means that we experience the reality of the Spirit, which enables us to pray as God’s children, keeps us in solidarity with creation, and gives us unseen hope that God will liberate us and creation from bondage to death and decay.
Gospel: Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43
Jesus tells a parable about the co-existence of good and evil in this world. God’s judgment will remove all evildoers and causes of sin, but not until the end of human history.
Theme for the Pentecost season (summer)
The depth of God’s love, the extent of His abundant grace, and the certainty of His unwavering faithfulness are far bigger than any of us can ever fully comprehend. These freely-given gifts are ours, regardless of our level of faith or understanding.
This Pentecost season is a time for us to grow our faith and immerse ourselves in God’s abundant love. Our weekly worship gathers us together to hear God’s Word, learn through Jesus’ teaching and example, share in God’s Meal, and be sent out to share God’s abundant love with the world.
Listen. Learn. Proclaim.
This is God’s call this Pentecost.
Open our Hands.
Open our Hearts.
Open our Lives.
This is our prayer as we answer His call.